When it comes to asking Johnny Depp to resign from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts films, many people think that Warner Bros. made the wrong choice. Since the studio dropped Depp in the wake of him losing a libel case against British tabloid The Sun in connection with his messy divorce with Amber Heard, the internet has been flooded with memes and petitions from fans to reinstate him. But WB has already committed to its controversial course and there’s no going back now, there’s only taking the expected PR flak while getting the next three movies made to finish off this Harry Potter prequel/spinoff franchise. In that regard, the studio is apparently wasting no time in getting Depp’s replacement… and I have to admit it’s a damn good one.
According to Deadline, Mads Mikkelsen is currently franchise director David Yates’ top pick for the gig. The studio has reportedly already reached out to Mikkelsen who is now in early talks to take up the role of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.
There had been some public outcry to cast Colin Farrell in the role as he had already played the character in a fashion. 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them introduced Farrell as the mysterious Percival Graves who is revealed in the film’s final moments to have been Depp’s Grindelwald the entire time, having disguised himself through magic. WB is apparently taking things in a new direction though.
While 2018’s follow-up, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, saw Depp as the central antagonist, it was very much still the story of Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander, while also introducing Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore. The still-untitled third Fantastic Beasts film is being billed as a three-hander though, with all three leads sharing equal screen time. With Depp gone, you need an actor who can comfortably stand opposite Redmayne and Law, and who boasts attractive charisma while giving a properly menacing performance. Mikkelsen can most definitely do all of that. The superstar Danish actor has already given us iconic performances in Hannibal, Casino Royale, Valhalla Rising and more. Hopefully, WB puts him to better villainous use than Marvel though who criminally underused him in Doctor Strange.
If Mikkelsen officially signs on, he will quickly join Redmayne and Law who are already shooting (Depp had just shot a single scene in September, for which he will get his full eight-figure paycheck). WB reportedly want to keep the film on its original production schedule, despite having delayed its release date from 12 November 2021 to 15 July 2022 in the wake of Depp’s exit.
Last Updated: November 12, 2020